Arkansas Judicial Council

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Arkansas Judicial Council Photo

Judicial Council, fall 2015 meeting:

Seated: (l to r) Hon. Gary Arnold (Immediate Past President), Hon. Rita Gruber (Director)

Standing: (l to r) Hon. Robert Edwards; Hon. David McCormick (Director); Hon. David Clark; Hon. Earnest Brown, Jr.; Hon. Barbara Halsey (Director); AOC Director J.D. Gingerich (Secretary/Treasurer); Hon. Mary McGowan (President 2015-2016); Hon. Mike Medlock (Director); Hon. James Cox (Director)

Information about Arkansas Judicial Council

Arkansas Judicial Council consists of all judges of the state circuit courts, judges of the Arkansas Court of Appeals, justices of the Arkansas Supreme Court, retired justices and judges of those courts, and the Director of the Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts.  The Council acts as the official body representing the state's judiciary.

The Council was organized "to foster and preserve the integrity, dignity, and independence of the judiciary; to promote uniformity and dispatch in judicial administration; to develop, implement and maintain a program of judicial education preassisting members newly elected or appointed to the bench; to provide continuing legal education for members accommodating the diverse needs of chancellors, circuit judges and appellate justices; and to select member to the Judicial Retirement board."

The Council has statutory responsibilities which include making recommendations to the General Assembly on judicial redistricting and the addition of new judgeships in the state; and appointment of the five members of the Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System. Ark. Code Ann. section 16-10-501 ("Development of criteria for new judgeships or redistricting"); Ark. Code Ann. section 24-8-203 ("Board of Trustees of the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System"). Formal business of the Council is conducted in spring and fall meetings each year.


2016-2017 Officers
Officer Name Phone Fax
Hon.  David Guthrie, President
Circuit Judge
101 North Washington, Suite 205
El Dorado AR 71730
870-864-1968 870-864-1969
Hon. Mary McGowan, Immediate
Circuit Judge
401 W. Markham, Room 240
Little Rock AR 72201
501-340-5602 501-340-5640
Hon. Wiley Branton, President-Elect
Circuit Judge
3001 W. Roosevelt
Little Rock AR 72201
501-340-6666 501-340-6928
Mr. J.D. Gingerich, Secretary/Treasurer
Director, Administrative Office of the Courts
625 Marshall Street, Justice Building
Little Rock AR 72201
501-682-9400 501-682-9410


2016-2017 Board of Directors
Name Phone Fax Term Expires

Hon. Herbert Wright
Circuit Judge
401 W. Markham, Room 440
Little Rock AR 72201

501-831-4670 501-340-8822 October 2017

Hon. Barbara Halsey
Circuit Judge
320 W. Court Street, Room 210
Paragould AR 72450

870-926-9503 870-239-4185 October 2017

Hon. Mike Medlock
Circuit Judge
220 South 4th Street
Van Buren AR 72956

479-471-3290 479-471-3292 October 2017

Hon. Joanna Taylor
Circuit Judge
123 North College
Fayetteville AR 72701

479-444-1682 479-444-1686 October 2018

Hon. Carlton Jones
Circuit Judge
400 Laurel Street
Texarkana AR 71854

870-774-2421 870-772-4680 October 2018

Hon. Leon Johnson
Circuit Judge
401 W. Markham, Room 420
Little Rock AR 72201

501-340-8590 501-340-6039 October 2018

Hon. Shawn Womack
Supreme Court Justice
625 Marshall Street
Little Rock AR 72201

501-682-6861 501-682-4002 October 2019

Hon. Ann Hudson
Circuit Judge
P. O. Box 995
Forrest City AR 72336

870-633-5995 870-630-1203 October 2019

Hon. Edwin Keaton
Circuit Judge
Ouachita County Courthouse
Camden AR 71701

870-231-9145 870-231-9330 October 2019